45 user 21 critic

The Left Handed Gun (1958)

Approved | | Western | 17 May 1958 (USA)
After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Congdon ...
Charlie Boudre
Hill (as Bob Anderson)
Deputy Moon
Ainslie Pryor ...
Pete Maxwell


William Bonney - Billy the Kid - gets a job with a cattleman known as 'The Englishman,' and is befriended by the peaceful, religious man. But when a crooked sheriff and his men murder the Englishman because he plans to supply the local Army fort with his beef, Billy decides to avenge the death by killing the four men responsible, throwing the lives of everyone around him - Tom and Charlie, two hands he worked with; Pat Garrett, who is about to be married; and the kindly Mexican couple who take him in when he's in trouble - into turmoil, and endangering the General Amnesty set up by Governor Wallace to bring peace to the New Mexico Territory. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is William Bonney, a juvenile "tough" from the back-alleys of New York... a teenager wanted dead or alive throughout the West. This is the screen's first real story of the strange teen-age desperado known to legend as "Billy the Kid"... See more »




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Release Date:

17 May 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billy the Kid  »


Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Warner Bros. reportedly interfered with the production and would not allow Penn to shoot the ending he wanted. In addition, the director was cut out of the editing process. See more »


Billy and the others are at a lake. You see the reflection of the moon in the water. One of them shouts "the moon" and they start shooting the reflection of the moon. When the camera zooms out, you see Billy and his pals are facing the camera, so the moon was in their back all the time. Hence there couldn't have been a reflection of the moon. See more »


Pat Garrett: [about the fragility of the amnesty] One shot - one ten cent bullet, and that's it!
See more »


Version of I Shot Billy the Kid (1950) See more »


Rock of Ages
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady and music by Thomas Hastings
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User Reviews

9 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

Arthur Penn directed this obscure(and umpteenth) filming of the story of Billy The Kid(William Bonny) Paul Newman(utterly miscast) plays Billy as a misunderstood and pensive youth who merely wanted to avenge the death of his employer, an expatriate Englishman and cattle rancher murdered by a corrupt sheriff and his men because they didn't want the competition. Billy hunts down and kills the men responsible, but becomes a wanted criminal as a result. His friend and lawman Pat Garret(played by John Dehner) reluctantly pursues him, as Billy's fame grows... Terrible film is unbearably slow and uninteresting; a real chore to sit through, and misinformed title makes it look even worse!

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